Two weeks til the by-election…
Two weeks til the by-election…
The exit polls in from Europe so far show a strong anti-EU vote across the continent. The right-wing anti-EU People’s Party is top in Denmark, Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star party is second in Italy (according to test data), far left Syriza are top in Greece and Front National appear to have won in France. Britain’s results are expected after 10pm…
Two pollsters, Populus and ICM, called it for Labour the rest called it for UKIP. As far as Guido can tell IPSOS-Mori did not do a Euro-poll saying it was “too close to call”. We shall find out who was right and who was most accurate after tonight. You can still – at time of going to pixel – get a 20% return betting on UKIP to win or quintuple your money on Labour. Good luck…
N.B. Any pollster who feels misrepresented (they are sensitive types) should get in touch and we will correct the chart.
As we go to pixel (7:28am), these are the local election results so far:
The first tremors are being felt…
The Electoral Commission guidance to polling station staff is clear:
“Fold the ballot paper, then hand it to the voter unfolded. Ask them to re-fold it once they’ve marked their ballot paper in the polling booth.”
Dozens of voters including UKIP candidate Suzanne Evans are reporting that their ballot papers were handed to them with the UKIP section folded, contrary to the rules. The Electoral Commission has confirmed it is “monitoring the issue” and say that “staff have again been instructed to hand papers to voters unfolded”. This does seem widespread, though if you can’t work out how to find the box that says UKIP on your ballot paper you probably should not bother.
The line from the Guardian/BBC axis is that Narendra Modi is a dangerous blood-thirsty right-wing nationalist, a sectarian Hindu who oversaw the massacre of Muslims in his home state of Gujurat. For added measure he was associated with the RSS, a uniformed Hindu-fascist organisation. Despite all this disapproval from the left-wing media establishment he has just won more votes in a free election than anyone on the planet…
The reality is he has risen from being a lower caste, poor chai-wallah, a boy selling tea at a train station, to successfully running Gujarat – a state with a population of 60 million – which has outperformed the rest of chronically corrupt India on all economic indicators. The Indian supreme court found there was no evidence that Modi allowed or even encouraged the mob violence in 2002 in Gujarat that led to some thousand deaths. The RSS is closer to Baden Powell’s boy scouts than Hitler’s brownshirts. Modi is a vegetarian, technocrat who believes that India’s Hindus and India’s Hindu culture should command more respect. In that it is fair to say he is a conservative nationalist.
The born-to-rule Congress Party has been swept from power, the once great idealistic party of Gandhi that brought Fabian socialism to India had degenerated into an arrogant, corrupt, nepotistic kleptocracy. Modi offers his fellow members of India’s lower castes the prospect of social mobility, competent government and a high growth economy based on free market reforms, accelerated privatisations and technological progress. Modi’s campaign emphasises optimistically that India can become the largest market in the world and in a way reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, Modi promises to make India proud of its future. His campaign anthem commercial rocks too:
India has won! भारत की विजय। अच्छे दिन आने वाले हैं।
Ed Miliband, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove step aside, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt has done his best to single-handedly ruin the selfie. He has set up a “self-EU“ contest where entrants are encouraged to “send us your selfie, showing us where and how you enjoy the benefits of European integration”. The prize? “You could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.”
Surely no one will be able to beat Guido’s entry:
Let us know when to pop round, Guy!
The UK Independence Party is on course to win the largest share of the vote in the European Parliament elections in May, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror.
UKIP 30% (+3)
Lab 28% (+5)
Con 21% (0)
LD 8% (-10)
Green 6% (+2)
Other 7% (0)
This is the first poll to ask separate questions about the European elections for some time.[…]
Ed Miliband has been out and about today campaigning for the local elections:
Not content with the small crowd he pulled for his stump speech, he decided to take his message door to door. Car door to door that is. The Merc driver doesn’t look like he’s feeling the pinch too much:
Talking of crowds, the number of people turning up at UKIP events cannot go unnoticed.[…]
Back during the great AV debate of 2011 Guido brought you the news that the Electoral Reform Society owns Electoral Reform Services, the market leader in manufacturing vote counting software. Guido wondered at the time whether the £250 million worth of electronic voting machines run by ERS Ltd had anything to do with the ERS’ support for AV…
Now the ERS have published a paper criticising the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections.[…]
Cameroons like to remind the disgruntled Tory right of a simple bit of coalition electoral arithmetic: Tories on 34% + LibDems on 8% = 42%, just about enough to form a government again in 2015. Well UKIP have been also been polling between 6% to 10% for over a year now.[…]
Months before Labour selected a candidate for Mayor of London, Guido chatted with a senior City Hall Tory politico, asking him who he really preferred to fight; Oona or Ken? Without hesitating he said “Oona so long as Ken stands as an independent again.[…]